We’re eleven games into the season and the Celtics still really haven’t figured out who their backup point guard is. While the Celtics have two versatile combo-guards in Terry or Barbosa, both are more adept at creating for themselves rather than others, so it’s no surprise Rondo is averaging a career high 38 MPG. Avery Bradley hopes that when he returns he can help fill that void, and give the Celtics a little bit more room to breathe when Rondo goes to the bench (from an interview with WEEI’s Rob Bradford):
“I look at it completely different now,” he said. “Some things that Doc [Rivers] might see — because he sees a lot of things that players don’t see — I’m starting to see. Being a back-up point guard you need to know where everybody has to be. You need to know certain plays. Now, sitting back watching, I can try and become like [Rajon] Rondo as far as knowing where everybody’s supposed to be. Just trying to be the General.
“I’m learning from [Rondo] as far as watching him,” Bradley explained. “He looks at it completely different. I used to just watch it. But now I watch the people’s tendencies and how to get people the ball a lot of different ways.
“I think that’s why a lot of people are uncomfortable while they are young point guards. If you don’t know the plays, and where everybody’s supposed to be, it’s hard because you’re rushing through everything. That’s how it used to be. But you never see Rondo rushing. He takes his time.”
Interesting that Bradley refers to himself as a point guard multiple times here. I had speculated before the season that if Courtney Lee could hold down the starting job in his absence Bradley might work well coming off the bench as he could share the ball handling duties with Terry. Thats all out the window now that Lee is coming off the bench, and Bradley should return to the lineup as the starting shooting guard (his true position).
Still, you could make a strong case for Bradley as the backup ball handler. We saw him have success playing point guard last year in Rondo’s absence including a standout game in Atlanta where he finished with 28 points (though he wasn’t doing much creating for others). The rotations might get a bit tricky with so many talented guards, but Bradley might already be the Celtics best fallback option at point. If he’s really been working on his court-vision and passing, even better.
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